By, Jim Knepper
Over the past 4 years, we’ve noticed along with many of our colleagues in the Catering and Event Services businesses that the economic conditions HAVE had many noticable effects on the way folks book events and event services. One of the most notable is the shift from planning well in advance and locking in venues, caterers and ‘essential services’ for whatever type of event it is to ‘Just In Time’ Booking. In other words, waiting until the last few months, or even days to Book.
While it is certainly understandable that poor economic conditions and uncertainty about the future would have these causal factors on the behavior of customers and Event Planners, as with every cause…there is an ‘effect’ and in the case of caterers, at least from our viewpoint, it often results in not getting the caterer that you’d like or perhaps having to scramble at the last moment and take whomever might be available on your date and time. Either way, it’s never a good idea to wait until the final stages of planning to lock down your venue, caterer and entertainment…no matter who you choose.
Additionally, if you’re planning an event in 2014 and have not yet locked down on a caterer, you should know that for all but the ‘low bid’ folks in this business…we WILL be seeing significant price increases on everything we use to source, cook and deliver your food. From the rising costs of ‘commodities’, think Beef and Pork specifically (but just about all food prices are increasing rapidly this year for a number of complicated reasons) to the increasing costs of electricity, fuel for our vehicles and the cost of maintaining our equipment and certifications. Some of us will absorb as much as we can, but at some point these costs HAVE to be passed along in order for us to stay in business.
I am taking the time to put these thoughts into writing ‘early’ in the season because every year as these months arrive, I find myself having difficult conversations with folks who have received Estimates from us over the past several months and call to Book only to find out that we are no longer available. I am sympathetic to their situations and when possible, we do all that we can to accomodate…but when our calendar is full on any specific date…it’s full! SO…no matter who your choosing to host, cater and entertain at your 2014 events, I would suggest BOOKING SOON in order to insure availability, save money and most importantly…save that last minute rush that leads to choosing whoever’s available on your date, which is rarely the best option for you.
Just one guy’s advice, but worth considering I think! For more information on the many ways that we can help to make your next event memorable, check us out online at www.GreatQ4U.com or give me a call at 717-254-1937 and we will be happy to listen, work with you to build a menu to meet your budget and lock in one incredible experience for you!